Communicating with the Flash application

ScriptUI supports a Flash Player, which runs the Flash application within a window in an Adobe application. The Flash application runs ActionScript, a different implementation of JavaScript from the ExtendScript version of JavaScript that Adobe applications run.

To open a Flash Player, add a control of type FlashPlayer to your ScriptUI window. A control object of this type contains functions that allow your script to load SWF files and control movie playback. It also contains functions that allow your Adobe application script to communicate with the ActionScript environment of the Flash application. See FlashPlayer control functions.

A limited set of data types can be passed between the two scripting environments:

  • Number

  • String

  • Boolean

  • Null

  • undefined

  • Object

  • Array

The ActionScript class and date objects are not supported as parameter values.

In the ActionScript script for your Flash application, you must prepare for two-way communication by providing access to the External API. Do this by importing the ExternalInterface class into your Flash application:

import flash.external.ExternalInterface;

Calling ExtendScript functions from ActionScript

The ActionScript ExternalInterface class allows you to call an ExtendScript function that has been defined in the FlashPlayer element in the Adobe application script, and run it in the ActionScript environment. You must define the method in your FlashPlayer element with a matching function name.

For example, in order for the SWF code to call an ExtendScript function named myExtendScriptFunction, define a function with the name myExtendScriptFunction as a method of your FlashPlayer control object. There are no special requirements for function names, but the function must take and return only data of the supported types.

You do not need to register the ExtendScript function in the ActionScript environment. Your ActionScript script can simply call the external function using the method:

var res = "myJavaScriptFunction" );

When the Flash Player executes the ExternalInterface call, ScriptUI looks for a function with the same name as a method of the FlashPlayer element, and invokes it with the specified arguments. In the context of the function, the JavaScript this object refers to the FlashPlayer object.

Calling ActionScript functions from a ScriptUI script

From the ExtendScript side, use the FlashPlayer method invokePlayerFunction() to call ActionScript methods that have been defined within the Flash application:

var result = flashElement.invokePlayerFunction( "ActionScript_function_name", [ arg1, ..., argN ] );

You can use the optional arguments to pass data (of supported types) to the ActionScript method.

Before you can call any ActionScript function from your Adobe application script, your Flash application must register that function with the ExternalInterface object, as a callback from the Flash container. To register a function, use the ExternalInterface.addCallback() method:

public static addCallback(methodName:String, instance:Object, method:Function);

This registers a function defined in your Adobe application script named getActionScriptArray():

ExternalInterface.addCallback( "getActionScriptArray", this, getActionScriptArray );

Flash Examples

These examples in the Adobe ExtendScript SDK demonstrate how to use the Flash Player:


Shows how to create a Flash® Player, and use it to load a play back a movie defined in an SWF file.


Shows how to communicate between the Adobe application scripting environment and the ActionScript™ scripting environment of the Flash Player.